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7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains

7 Life Lessons Learned While Hiking the Cascade Mountains  by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CNE Our family vacationed in Seattle recently.  There are 7 of us, including significant others. Planning an entire vacation for a group of this size felt overwhelming.   So I messaged everyone and requested that each person text to the group 1-2 activities they wanted to be sure they accomplished while in Seattle.  I accumulated their wishes and then assigned each person(s) to organize an activity or event.  Mine, of course, was a vineyard and wine tasting tour.  My son-in-law, Brandon, planned a hike for us in the Cascade Mountains.  Now for my unpopular revelation… I don’t get the appeal of hiking.  I love walking and exploring but I don’t understand why one drives to a mountain to make a grueling trek up the side of it.   What’s the point? Is it exercise? Is it communing with nature? With self? Is it a race? To get to the top? And then what? What is the objective when hiking?  I NEED to know!  As you can imagine, I wasn’t my typical adventurous self before the trip up the mountain. Mind you; my brand-spanking-new-whale-watching-souvenir-travel-mug caught on fire in the microwave just as we were leaving the house.  At the […]

A Tribute to Teresa: Life Lessons

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By Kelly Beischel Teachers are everywhere. One doesn’t need a doctoral degree to acquire wisdom nor dispense it. And for certain, some of the most important life lessons are taught outside of classrooms. Let me tell you about some important lessons I’ve learned  from an extraordinary person, a teacher about life. I’ve had a thing about getting older. If I’m being honest, some have called it an obsession. In fact, there are periods of my life when the fear of aging led my mind down dark alleys. Thankfully, I’m beginning to acknowledge that aging isn’t always a bad thing. I’m learning to embrace it. I tell you this because I’ve just come home from my sister-in-law, Teresa’s funeral. She was a person who lived vibrantly and taught me much. Over the last 20 years, we marveled about being married to Beischel men, told stories about our children, sought advice from one another and laughed about our ever-changing hairstyles – color and all. My heart is heavy. I’ve lost the mother of my beautiful nieces, the wife of my gentle brother-in-law, and the aunt who was ever-ready to laugh with my children. Teresa was just 53 years young. I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve learned from having known and […]

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